Brownfield Redevelopment Specialists and Site Managers
Brownfield redevelopment specialists and site managers are employed by real estate developers, construction companies, engineering firms, environmental companies, and land institutes. According to the Occupational Information Network (O*NET), there are nearly 1.1 million managers (under the category "all other") employed in the United States, with a percentage of that including brownfield redevelopment specialists and site managers. The Environmental Protection Agency reports that there are more than 450,000 brownfields in the United States. Competition for brownfield redevelopment and site manager jobs is keen, however; those with a bachelor's degree and prior work experience improve their chances of securing work.
Many specialists and site managers get their start through an internship or part-time job at a construction company, environmental consultancy, or other organization that works on brownfield redevelopment projects. Some may start as assistant or junior project managers; with two to three years of experience working on brownfield redevelopment projects, they may become redevelopment specialists. Membership to a professional association, such as the Association for Redevelopment Initiatives (http://www.redevelopmentinitiatives.org), also provides opportunities to network with others working in the field and learn about job openings.
Brownfield redevelopment specialists and site managers may start their careers as project coordinators. With on-the-job training and after two to three years of work experience, they can advance to become redevelopment specialists and site managers. Those who receive certification from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, such as in construction safety and hazardous materials management, may advance to positions of higher responsibility, involving managing larger teams and handling more complex problems. Those who work full time for companies may go on to start their own brownfield redevelopment consultancies.
Tips for Entry
Get an internship or part-time job at an environmental agency or other company that offers brownfield redevelopment and site management services.
Learn more about brownfield cleanups that might be in your area by visiting the "Cleanups in My Community" page on the Environmental Protection Agency's Web site, https://www.epa.gov/cleanups/cleanups-my-community.
While in school, be sure to take classes in environmental science and biology, law and government, business management, technology, as well as English and communications.
Get certified to show prospective employers that your skills and knowledge are up to date. Visit the certification section of OSHA's Web site to learn more, https://www.osha.gov/otiec/degreeprograms/bydegreelevel.
Attend the National Brownfields Conference to learn more from government leaders, real estate developers, investors, and end-users of redeveloped brownfield sites, https://icma.org/programs-and-projects/national-brownfields-conference.